Coronavirus Updates

 

Friday, March 13

The MVLA School Board voted 5-0 to cancel all in-person classes from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27 out of concern for the recent Santa Clara outbreaks of COVID-19. During this period, the superintendent will have the authority to extend the closure as long as necessary. The board is also waiting on a decision by the county this afternoon. If the county decides to close schools for a longer period of time than two weeks, the board will follow the county’s decision.


Thursday, March 12

The rumors about a Los Altos student who tested positive for the coronavirus are not confirmed, according to Principal Wynne Satterwhite. Multiple students have been pulled out of class for precautionary measures, though none of them are known to have the virus.

“Just because you cough doesn’t mean you have coronavirus,” Satterwhite said. “But we are taking all precautions necessary.”

Satterwhite also added that parents may excuse their students from school if they are uncomfortable with the risk. However, students must stay home the whole day and can’t attend athletics.

 


Thursday, March 12

The Santa Clara Valley Athletic League has decided to cancel all spring sports through the end of the season. All meets and competitions are canceled, although teams will still be allowed to practice. This is in accordance with Governor Gavin Newsom’s state mandate to cancel all mass gatherings over 250 people through the end of March. Principal Wynne Satterwhite said that this would likely transfer over to Central Coast Section, but it is yet to be confirmed. Athletic Director Michelle Noeth has no say in this decision. Satterwhite says that any piece of this decision is subject to change in the coming days.

 


Tuesday, March 10

The school is canceling all school trips and events up until spring break, including the Diversity Assembly and Clash of the Classes. This is a joint decision between the district and the county health department, who have both been in daily contact with each other. Events after spring break, like prom, are still in discussion and have not been canceled. 

Principal Wynne Satterwhite says that the district is working to publish a full calendar of canceled events and is still reconsidering some events like TEDxLAHS, which have smaller groups in attendance. 

According to Satterwhite, some events have even requested that Los Altos groups and teams not attend. 

“Santa Clara County is kind of a leper with the coronavirus now,” she said. “I know that the robotics team isn’t very happy with our decision.”

 


Monday, March 9

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has announced a mandatory order to cancel all mass gatherings of 1,000 or more people. This is a mandatory order, unlike the recommendations posted previously. The order will take effect on Wednesday, March 11, and last for three weeks. 

The Palo Alto Unified High School District has taken measures that include reconsidering prom, postponing CAASPP testing, and canceling all field trips and assemblies with over 100 people in attendance. 

There is yet to be such a response from the MVLA district. 

Additionally, College Board has closed over 100 SAT test centers—including Gunn High School—for the March 14 exam due to possible coronavirus exposure. Most students have been redirected to nearby centers. College Board has contacted universities about the issue, but it is up to individual institutions to determine how to proceed with students unable to take these tests. 

College Board says that there is no information regarding how the virus will affect AP tests at this time.

 


Sunday, March 8

Due to new guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the Los Altos School District (LASD) is canceling “large, in-person activities, events, meetings, and conferences.” A specific list of events cancelled at each school will be shared by principals at a later time. Field trips have also been cancelled, including Egan’s annual Disneyland trip.

As of right now, there are no identified cases of coronavirus within LASD, but families who have been to a country with a high risk level for coronavirus have been asked to self-quarantine, and new students’ passports are being checked to see if they will be asked to self-quarantine.

 


Friday, March 6

School administration has postponed the Eagle Talent Show which was originally set for today, March 6. The LSU Summit, scheduled for tomorrow, has also been postponed. The MVLA district issued instructions to cancel all mass gatherings, under advice from the county health department released yesterday. The rescheduled date is unconfirmed as the county cannot be certain of when the risk will clear. Additionally, according to Athletic Director Michelle Noeth, SCVAL has only released minimal guidance as to how to deal with the outbreak.

 


Thursday, March 5

New guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department recommends canceling “mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.” However, the department still does not recommend closing schools unless otherwise instructed. This comes partially because children are not at a particularly high risk of contracting serious illness from the virus. ASB has confirmed that it will still host the talent show tomorrow, Friday, March 6.

 


Wednesday, March 4

Menlo School has closed in response to the coronavirus for the rest of the week. This comes after the discovery that a staff member was in contact with a relative who tested positive for the virus. Additionally, Castilleja School is asking students to stay home next Monday, March 9. Faculty will use the day to plan for a hypothetical school closure, including looking into online-learning options. This is a precaution, not a response to any virus exposure.